Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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How do I cost volunteer hours in the budget?

However you reach your conclusions on what your volunteers are worth, you need to have a sound logic behind it and be able to show it in your grant application.

The hourly rate may depend on the type of work being carried out by the volunteer.

Volunteering Victoria produced a paper on the economic value of volunteers which discusses how to calculate the hourly rate based on wage statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Can an auspice organisation make an application on my behalf?

No. The organisation applying to HMSTrust must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought. Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that it not a charity) applying to HMSTrust via an eligible organisation which acts as the auspice. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under HMSTrust’s guidelines.

What defines rural and regional Victoria?

HMSTrust uses Regional Development Victoria’s definition of rural and regional areas to assist with our grantmaking.

There are five regions comprising rural and regional Victoria: Loddon Mallee, Grampians, Hume, Barwon-South West and Gippsland.

You can download a map of the regions for more information and to check which region you are located in.

How will our application be acknowledged?

Once your application has been submitted, a confirmation email will be sent immediately, with your password and a URL direct link to your account home page. This URL and login will provide you with access to your application at any time.

Do you fund existing projects?

No, we don’t fund the following:

• Projects that have already started or taken place
• Maintenance of an established program

What support material can I include?

– Annual report or minutes from your annual meeting
– Your most recent Financial Statement
– Up to two letters of support relevant to your project

How do we know if the project meets HMSTrust’s funding criteria?

HMSTrust’s grants structure has been developed to help you determine whether your project fits the Trust’s funding criteria. We suggest you read the Grantseekers section on the website carefully and refer to the case studies of successful projects.

We also require that you have a discussion with HMSTrust grants staff before commencing an application to ensure your project is a good fit to our areas of interest, and recommend you do this well in advance of the application deadline. This can save you hours of time and effort from preparing an application that would be considered weak and unlikely to be successful.

We take enquiries all year round, not just when a grant round is open.


Which grant level should we select?

There are a number of variables you will need to consider:

– How much do you need?
– When do you need the funds?

Determine your budget and revenue sources.

Check Grant rounds to view the different grant levels and grant round dates. You will need to match your request to the appropriate grant level.

HMSTrust prefers projects which are collaborative and involve other funding partners.

Note that your project commencement date needs to be after the notification date. HMSTrust does not fund retrospectively.


Can we discuss our proposal prior to lodging an application?

Yes. Initial consultation with HMSTrust Grants staff is required before you make an application. We take enquiries for each grant level throughout the year, not just when a grant round is open.

An initial enquiry via the Contact Us page of our website is recommended.  Contact Grants staff here by filling out the grant application enquiry form. A member of the Grants team will follow up with a phone call or meeting request.

To ensure time for a considered response, it is best to make contact well before a closing date as Grants staff respond to a high volume of enquiries when a grant round is open.

Can the beneficiaries of the project reside outside of Victoria ?

The project must be undertaken solely in Victoria for the benefit of Victoria.

Any other beneficiaries of the project must be incidental/secondary to the project e.g. via a website or printed material;  or beneficiaries by default, e.g. a cure for cancer.

What type of organisations can apply?

HMSTrust will only fund charitable organisations that meet our eligibility criteria. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

Organisations must be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), and be either a charity based in Victoria and operating solely within Victoria or a charity operating both inside and outside Victoria, if its head office is in Victoria.

If your ACNC-registered charity has its head office outside of Victoria it is not eligible to apply

See the Eligibility section under How we grant for more detail.


What do we need to know before starting the online application?

  • You need to have had a discussion with HMSTrust grants staff before commencing an application to ensure your project is a good fit to our areas of interest. This can save you hours of time and effort from preparing an application that would be considered weak and unlikely to be successful.
  • Once you have the go ahead from HMSTrust, we recommend that you start work on your online application well in advance of the deadline. You may experience technical difficulties with your IT system that may prevent you from lodging your application form on time if you leave it to the last day. Your choice of browser may cause problems – a number of applicants have reported issues when using Chrome.
  • Sample Application Forms have been provided for reference before starting to complete your online application.  The forms are located in the Forms section under Grantseekers.
  • You can only access the online application form via the eligibility quiz on the Application Gateway page. Please note that eligibility is carefully assessed by the HMSTrust Grants Team before a project is considered.
  • The Impact Grant application form requires a special access code to the form which is given out following a necessary initial discussion with our Grants team. This code is different to your password for ‘My Account’.
  • Once through the eligibility quiz, you will be asked to complete the ‘My Account’ form, which will provide you with access to your online application form.
  • Detailed information regarding the online application form and process, including working with ‘My Account’, is listed in the Online Application Guide located under Resources. We recommend that you print this document for easy reference during the application process.

What if I have a technical problem?

  • Make sure you have read the Online Application Guide and are using the recommended internet browser. Google Chrome can cause issues with our grants management software and is NOT recommended.
  • Most technical problems will relate to your computer system and software, which can be solved by your IT support staff. If you are still unable to access or complete the online application form,you can email info@hmstrust.org.au. Please identify the problem clearly in your email message.
  • If you are unable to access the HMSTrust online application form, it will likely be that your browser is not configured to support cookies.  You can refer to any of the technical help sites available on your search engine by searching ‘Browser enable cookies’ for your particular browser and follow the instructions.


How long does the decision-making process take?

The Grants team will make an initial assessment and may contact you for further information.

  • Round 1 (up to $30k) and Round 2 ($31k-$91k) grant applications have a 2-month turn-around from closing date to notification.
  • Round 2 grant applications ($91k-$200k) have a 3-month turn-around.


How are multi-year grants paid?

Multi-year grants are released on receipt of a satisfactory Progress Report and Financial Acquittal in accordance with an agreed schedule. Payments are then made by electronic funds transfer on receipt of a tax invoice. The invoice must not include GST.

What happens if there are changes to the project?

If circumstances change during the life of the project, for example the scope of the project is modified, the project is delayed or the budget needs to be varied, HMSTrust must be informed as soon as possible.

HMSTrust will consider all amendments to approved grants. The Grantee is required to complete a Grant Amendment Form. If the requested amendment is significant and/or involves additional funds, it will be considered by Trustees at the next available Grants meeting.

How are successful grants paid?

Grant payments are made by electronic fund transfer on the receipt of a tax invoice. Projects that are dependent on funding from other sources are required to confirm that all funding is secured before HMSTrust funding is released.

Multi-year grants are released on receipt of a satisfactory Progress Report and Financial Acquittal in accordance with an agreed schedule. Payments are then made by electronic funds transfer on receipt of a tax invoice. The invoice must not include GST.

What are our obligations if we are approved?

Successful applicants are required to sign a Standard Grants Conditions Form, which outlines grantee requirements. This form, along with other sample forms, can be downloaded from the Forms page of our website.


Can you recommend an external evaluator?

HMSTrust does not have the resources to research and maintain a database of external evaluators; however, The Ian Potter Foundation has put together a list of external evaluators and is happy to share this list with other trusts and foundations and their grantees.

This link will take you to the Knowledge Centre on The Ian Potter Foundation website where you can use the Section Navigation button to take you to the Evaluation Pool page with the most recent list of evaluators to download.

Please note, this referral does not mean that HMSTrust endorses or guarantees the quality of the listed evaluators’ work.

When can we apply again?

You can only apply for another grant if your last grant has been successfully acquitted at least three months before the next grants round closes. You are required to discuss your project with a member of the HMSTrust Grants team prior to commencing a submission. These conversations provide information about our funding criteria and guidance on your potential proposal.